State Sen. Tom Briese joins nine other treasurer applicants

List includes newly appointed Public Service Commissioner

By: - September 7, 2023 11:07 pm
Nebraska State Capitol Building

The Nebraska State Capitol Building in Lincoln. (Rebecca S. Gratz for Nebraska Examiner)

OMAHA — A second chairman of a state legislative committee is among those applying to join Nebraska’s executive branch.

State Sen. Tom Briese, District 41. (Courtesy of Unicameral Information Office)

State Sen. Tom Briese of Albion confirmed Thursday that he has applied for the $85,000 a year job as state treasurer.

“For me … it presents an opportunity to continue serving,” said Briese, who is term-limited from running again for the Legislature in 2024.

State Sen. Julie Slama, District 1. (Courtesy of Craig Chandler / UNL Communications)

State Sen. Julie Slama of Dunbar, who chairs the Legislature’s Banking, Commerce and Insurance Committee is also vying with at least eight others to replace outgoing State Treasurer John Murante, who is resigning Sept. 18. 

Their names were among 10 who applied during the public application process, the Governor’s Office confirmed Thursday.

Fremont Mayor Joey Spellerberg (Courtesy of City of Fremont)

The updated list included Briese, Slama, Fremont Mayor Joey Spellerberg, Assistant Treasurer Rachel Biar of Dorchester, Neb., and former treasurer candidate Taylor Royal of Omaha.

It also included Public Service Commissioner Christian Mirch, a former Omaha legislative candidate and former Douglas County Republican Party chair. Pillen appointed Mirch in January.

Christian Mirch
Christian Mirch, newly appointed to Nebraska Public Service Commission (Courtesy of Mirch for Legislature)

Another applicant is Jason Hayes,  the Legislature took the rare step in June of rescinding Hayes’ appointment and confirmation last spring. Hayes had been a lawyer for the Lancaster County Republican Party and a lobbyist for the Nebraska State Education Association. Murante was selected to the post in August.

Nebraska Assistant State Treasurer Rachel Biar (Courtesy of National Association of State Treasurers)

Also applying is Omaha-area lawyer Ryan Loneman. He said he is a vice president of legal for a local ag firm.

The list of applicants arrived too late Thursday to verify identity information about two others on the list: Melissa Carlson and Nathan Eriksen.

Gov. Jim Pillen will appoint Murante’s replacement, who will serve in the statewide office until 2026. The governor does not have to pick from among the applicants if he has a candidate in mind.

Murante is taking a job leading the Nebraska Public Employee Retirement Systems. The governor is likely to act quickly. The treasurer oversees programs from unclaimed property to child support payments and college savings plans.


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Aaron Sanderford
Aaron Sanderford

Political reporter Aaron Sanderford has tackled various news roles in his 20-plus year career. He has reported on politics, crime, courts, government and business for the Omaha World-Herald and Lincoln Journal-Star. He also worked as an assignment editor and editorial writer. He was an investigative reporter at KMTV.